PODCAST: Bietbridge humanitarian crisis

South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi has warned of a looming humanitarian crisis as pressure mounts at South Africa’s border posts. Long queues and desperate attempts to enter South Africa have placed a huge strain on the country’s border posts with neighbouring countries.

On the Beitbridge border posts hundreds of Zimbabweans have been captured waiting for days in the line to escape the thirty day hard lockdown that was recently implemented. The lockdown is said to be harsher than that of South Africa. Some of the reasons for the delays are that travellers are required to produce a valid negative Covid-19 test result obtained 72 hours before the date of travel.

To take the conversation further Channel Africa spoke to:

• Leon Isaacson who is the managing director at Global Migration South Africa, and

• Professor Jo Vearey who is the director of the African Centre for Migration & Society, at University of the Witwatersrand.

[This podcast was originally broadcast on Channel Africa’s African Dialogue show, on 7 January 2021: Bietbridge humanitarian crisis.]

About Jo Vearey

Jo Vearey is a Professor and the Director of the African Centre for Migration & Society, University of the Witwatersrand. She holds an Honorary Fellowship with the School of Social and Political Science at the University of Edinburgh, and a Senior Fellowship at the Centre for Peace, Development and Democracy at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. In 2015, Jo was awarded a Humanities and Social Science Wellcome Trust Investigator Award. Jo holds a MSc in the Control of Infectious Diseases (LSHTM, 2003), a PhD in Public Health (Wits, 2010), and has been rated by the National Research Foundation as a Young Researcher. In 2014 and 2015, Jo received a Friedel Sellschop Award from the University of the Witwatersrand for outstanding young researchers. She was a Marie Curie Research Fellow in 2013, at the UNESCO Chair on Social and Spatial Inclusion of Migrants, University of Venice (SSIM-IUAV), Venice, Italy.

With a commitment to social justice and the development of pro-poor policy responses, Jo’s research explores international, regional, national and local responses to migration, health, and urban vulnerabilities. Her research interests focus on urban health, public health, migration and health, the social determinants of health, HIV, informal settlements and sex work. Jo is particularly interested in knowledge production, dissemination and utilisation including the use of visual and arts-based methodologies.

Jo has a range of international collaborations, including an ESRC-NRF funded project with the University of Edinburgh, a WOTRO funded project with the VU University, Amsterdam on migration and sex work, and partnerships with the University of Massachusetts Boston and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine‘s Faculty of Public Health and Policy and Gender, Violence and Health Unit.

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